HOME DESTROYED: Two Escape House Fire

Flames engulfed a West Des Moines home at 414 34th Street around 4 AM.

The fire didn’t claim any lives, but the homeowner says she lost items she can’t replace.

Ken Setzkorn was woken up Friday morning by his neighbors from across the street who were desperate for help.

“I hurried up, got out of bed and saw the neighbors out front. Neither one had much clothing on,” said Setzkorn.

With black smoke and flames pouring through the windows, he called 911.

First responders arrived and brought the two men to the hospital where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

The home however, suffered a different fate. A third roommate says it’s a total loss.

“Everything I can think of is gone, gone, gone,” said Karla Swanson, the owner of the home.

Swanson was working the night shift at a local fast food restaurant when she heard that the home she lived in for six years was on fire.

She stayed at work for two more hours thinking about the items in the home she would never be able to replace.

“I had letters from my parents. They’re in poor health right now and this is how I was planning on remembering them.”

Despite the tragedy, Swanson says there is plenty to be thankful for.

Her roommates were able to escape despite the fact that fire fighters say there didn’t appear to be any working smoke detectors.

She’s also become closer to her neighbors who have taken her in during her time of need.

“They’ve given me hugs. They’re very special people,” Swanson told Channel 13 News.

“That’s what you do. You just share Christ’s love with others around and Karla is welcome to stay with us as long as it takes,” said Setzkorn.

The American Red Cross has reached out to the victims of the fire offering clothes and food.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Investigators say the blaze caused $175,000 in damage and the home is a total loss.

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